Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, on Tuesday, said he would be returning to Maiduguri – Gamboru road for his campaign next week without riding in bulletproof cars, declaring that he was ready to pay the supreme price if need be.
He was responding to a question on the attack on his convoy after the security meeting summoned by President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss security challenges in states most plagued.
Shettima’s campaign convoy came under attack last week while traveling along Maiduguri – Gamboru road, in Borno State.
At least, four civilians and a soldier reportedly died in the bloody attack after some suspected Boko Haram insurgents dressed as soldiers infiltrated the convoy and suddenly opened fire on them.
According to Shettima, “when you juxtapose the sorry state of the North East four years ago and what it is now, you will admit there has been a great change in our fortune security wise. The threats and challenges are still there but when you put it in proper perspective, I think the president deserves commendation, not condemnation.
“Be that as it may, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. I am the chief security officer of the state; I should have the courage and believe me not that I am not petrified, no!
“John McCain says ‘courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in spite of it.’ As the chief security officer of the state, the day I say I cannot go to a certain part of the state because of the insecurity, then what sort of confidence am I inspiring in the common man?
“The Boko Haram basks in the oxygen of publicity, by attacking my convoy, by targeting me, they have got the much-needed boost. But then, as they say, if you cannot withstand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Leadership requires courage. I will go back to Gamboru-Ngala next week and ready to pay the supreme price if need be and I will not be going in a bulletproof car. I will go in a normal car like any other member of my convoy and expose myself to all the risk that they are bearing for me to be protected.
“But believe me, no matter how long the night is, darkness must give away to the light of dawn; no matter how stormy the weather may well be, it won’t rain forever. This madness will come to an end because it is a fight between light and darkness; it is a fight between cause and justice.”